Former Portsmouth striker unsure if he'll survive Paul Cook's Ipswich squad overhaul

Oli Hawkins has admitted he's unsure if Paul Cook rates him enough to survive Ipswich’s summer overhaul.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 12:00 pm

The striker left Pompey last summer after not being handed fresh terms at Fratton Park. In total, he scored 18 goals in 96 appearances during his three-year spell.

Hawkins subsequently moved to the Blues' League One rivals on a free transfer, signing a two-year deal with the option of an additional 12 months.

Ex-Pompey boss Cook took the Portman Road reins over from Paul Lambert in March and has promised to make drastic changes to the current squad during the summer transfer window.

The Tractor Boys have endured another underwhelming season and languish 12th in the table.

Hawkins, who has netted only once in 22 games for Ipswich has yet to discuss his future with Cook – but is desperate to be in his plans.

Asked if Cook likes him as a player, the ex-Dagenham man told the East Anglian Daily Times: ‘I mean, honestly, I’m not too sure yet because it’s still early days for me.

‘He came in when I was injured and it might be a discussion we need to have after the season.

Oli Hawkins. Picture: George Wood/Getty Images

‘I’m just trying to keep fit, be ready and will do my best if he selects me. Hopefully he likes me and wants me to stick around next year.

‘The main reason why I came to Ipswich was the prospect of big crowds, a promotion-fighting team and a big club, so I’d love to be here next year.

‘All I can do is be available for selection and in training and then try my hardest to show that if the new gaffer wanted to pick me then I was ready.

‘It’s maybe taken longer (to play) than I expected and I hoped to show what I could do for the team if selected.

‘Hopefully the fans are back and there will be a buzz around. That’s been missing. I want to hear people shouting when you make mistakes because that makes me want to do better.

‘This club will benefit when fans are back and things are a bit more normal.’

Ipswich's shortcomings in front of goal – having scored a total of just 41 times in 44 league games – has lead to Cook confessing he doesn't have any trust in the current squad.

Hawkins' solitary strike arrived in October, albeit he's recently returned from a knee injury that sidelined him for almost three months.

The former Hemel Hempstead man insists he's not paid much attention to Cook's comments.

He added: ‘I don’t read too much or look at it so I’m not sure what’s been said.

‘There may be people talking about it but I don’t focus on it. He can only say what he sees and, if that is what he sees, then that’s his truth.

‘Us as lads want to try and win every game which comes to us, which unfortunately hasn’t happened.

‘The manager wants to win games, we want to win games, but we haven’t been able to make it happen.’